Friday, May 17, 2013

Mary TV Daily Reflection 5/17/2015

        pray in silence      Come, Holy Spirit!
(c)Mary TV 2013

May 17, 2013

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! Pray with me to the Holy Spirit for Him to lead you in the search of God's will on the way of your holiness. And you, who are far from prayer, convert and, in the silence of your heart, seek salvation for your soul and nurture it with prayer. I bless you all individually with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call." (May 25, 2007)

Our Lady urges us to be led by the Holy Spirit into God's will. She wants us to travel with her along the path of God, the path that God has designed for each of us, individually. That path contains all that is essential for our formation in holiness and our ultimate attainment of heaven. It is a beautiful path, filled with opportunities to love. But we can miss the path. We can ignore the path, and walk down another road, one that contradicts God's loving plan.

And so she counsels us to pray with her to the Holy Spirit. And for those of us who are far from prayer, she suggests that we convert right now, turn around and go into silence where we can seek the Lord. She is with us, individually, to help us find the way that the Holy Spirit is pointing out.

We may not be accustomed to the presence and action of the Holy Spirit. Though the Spirit is with us, we may not be aware of Him, and might not have a relationship with Him. And so Our Lady's words seem a bit outlandish.

There is a French priest, Fr. Jacques Philippe, who has written several little books about just this subject. These books are simple, easy to read, and very clear. I want to excerpt from Fr. Philippe's book, "In the School of the Holy Spirit". You will see how helpful his writings are! Like Our Lady, he seems to know how to help us get close to God:

The Spirit of God is a spirit of peace, and he speaks and acts in peace and gentleness, never in tumult and agitation. What's more, the motions of the Spirit are delicate touches that don't make a great noise and can penetrate our spiritual consciousness only if we have within ourselves a sort of calm zone of silence and peace. If our inner world is noisy and agitated, the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit will find it very difficult to be heard.

If we want to recognize and follow the Spirit's motions, it is of the greatest importance to maintain a peaceful heart in all circumstances.

It isn't easy; but by practicing hope in God, abandonment, humility, and the acceptance of our inner poverty through an unshakeable trust in God's mercy, we will reach peace little by little....It is important to underline the importance of peace of mind, because if we don't seek actively to "practice peace" in all the circumstances that threaten to make us lose it (and there are plenty of them!) it will be difficult for us to hear the Holy Spirit's voice when he wants to speak - the agitation we allow in our hearts will almost certainly prevent it...When we experience difficult moments, the effort that we make to remain at peace in spite of everything does a lot of good, because the very fact of maintaining peace of mind will give us the best chance of reacting to the situation not in a human, agitated, hasty way (and making plenty of messes) but in a way that is attentive to what the Holy Spirit might suggest to us, which will obviously be much more profitable. So we should put into practice what St. John of the Cross said:

Take care to preserve your heart in peace; let no happening of this world upset it...Even if everything here below crumbled apart and all things were against us, there would be no use in upsetting ourselves over it, for that upset would bring us more harm than benefit. (St. John of the Cross, Maxims 173 and 175)

The greatest harm that upsetting ourselves does to us is that it makes us incapable of following the impulses of the Holy Spirit.

Maintaining peace is linked to the practice of silence. This silence is not an empty silence: it is peace, attentiveness to God's presence and attentiveness to others, waiting in trust and hope in God. We sometimes let ourselves be overtaken by excessive noise - not so much physical noise as the ceaseless whirlwind of thoughts, imaginations, and words that we've heard or said - and all this merely feeds our worries, fears, and frustrations, and obviously leaves the Holy Spirit little chance of making himself heard. Silence is not emptiness but that general attitude of inwardness that enables us to have an "inner cell" in our heart, to use an expression of St. Catherine of Siena's, where we are in God's presence and converse with him. Silence is the opposite of the dissipation of souls in curiosity, gossip, and so forth. It is a capacity for returning almost spontaneously within ourselves, drawn by the presence of God within us. (Fr. Jacques Philippe. "In the School of the Holy Spirit". p. 37-39)

Silence of heart. This is the key to detecting the movements of the Holy Spirit. We achieve this silence by converting (turning everything over to God, turning toward Him) and quieting our inner self through acts of trust and peace. In that silence, we are capable to listening to God because we have stopped listening to ourselves and to the world. We have turned our attention to the One who loves us and we will certainly hear Him. He will lead us into God's will for our lives, which is the way of holiness. This way is the way of joy!

As we near Pentecost, we should be very aware of Our Lady. As she says, "Pray with me to the Holy Spirit..." She prayed with the Apostles in the upper room to the Holy Spirit. She wants to pray with us as well. We are in good hands!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2013

PS. Books by Fr. Jacques Philippe are available at Scepter Press:
PPS.  Here is a link to the traditional Novena to the Holy Spirit:


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